As winter sets in and the winter clothes come out, it is important to remember to continue checking your skin regularly for any abnormalities. Please remember to call our lovely receptionists or pop in, have a chat and make an appointment for your skin check. We look forward to seeing you.
The Australian government will soon be giving all individuals that hold a Medicare card or Veterans affairs card a My Health Record by the end of 2018.
The My Health Record provides a summary of your medical history for your Doctors and specialists to access should they need to. It includes key information like allergies, medications, tests and scans, as well as emergency contact details.
If you would like a My Health Record set up for you, you don’t need to do anything. Should you not wish to have a My Health Record created, there will be a 3 mth opt out period commencing 16th July until the 15th October.
To opt out of receiving one automatically, please visit https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/howtos/opt-out
For more information on what My health Record is about please visit https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/sites/g/files/net4206/f/all_you_need_to_know_brochure_tri_fold_dl_2017_v3_.pdf?v=1522992369
What are the risk factors for melanoma?
A risk factor is any factor that is associated with increasing someone’s chances of developing a certain condition, such as cancer. Some risk factors are modifiable, such as lifestyle or environmental risk factors, and others cannot be modified, such as inherited factors or whether someone in the family has had cancer.
Having 1 or more risk factors does not mean that you will develop cancer. Many people have at least 1 risk factor but will never develop cancer, while others with cancer may have had no known risk factors. Even if a person with cancer has a risk factor, it is usually hard to know how much that risk factor contributed to the development of their disease.
Factors that are associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma include:
- a fair complexion (including fair skin that burns or freckles easily, blue or green eyes, and blonde or red hair)
- exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) energy (e.g. tanning beds)
- a history of sunburns that caused blistering, especially in childhood
- having some large moles, many small moles, or moles that look different from normal moles
- a family history of unusual moles or melanoma
- a personal history of skin cancer, including melanoma
- xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare genetic condition that prevents the skin from repairing itself from UV damage
- exposure to certain environmental factors, including radiation, and some chemicals (e.g. solvents)
- a weakened immune system from disease or side effects of medicines
- age – about half the people who develop melanoma are older than 50
- sex of the patient – in Australia and New Zealand, melanoma is more common in men than in women.
This is a very interesting watch, and a wonderful reminder for all of us to remember to take care of our skin. We are all encouraged to drink more water, eat well and exercise daily to keep our bodies healthy. Please remember to take care of your skin too. Keep up with sun cream application even in the cooler weather. The UV level on a cool clear winters day can be just as high as it is in the middle of summer.
Do you know what to look for when checking your skin for any signs of skin cancers? Refer to the cancer council via the below link to help you in the detection of skin cancers. Be sure to check out the ABCDE on melanoma detection.
Some typical signs of skin cancers can be:
– New moles
– Moles that increase in size
– An outline of a mole that becomes notched.
– A spot that changes colour from brown to black or is varied.
– A spot that becomes raised or develops a lump within it.
– The surface of a mole becoming rough, scaly or ulcerated.
– Moles that itch or tingle.
– Moles that bleed or weep.
– Spots that look different from the others.
If you have any worrying spots, please give us a call on 03 5303 0188 to book in for a skin check with one of our dermatologists. A current referral from your GP is required.
You can’t get sunburnt in the shade
Actually, it’s UV radiation – not sunlight –that damages your skin. Even though we can’t see or feel them, UV rays reflect off surfaces like sand, water and even grass.
So, whilst a nice shady tree will block some UV rays, others will bounce from those sunny areas to reach your skin
A tan that builds up over summer isn’t dangerous
Any tan is a sign of UV damage, because it’s usually the UV damage we get when we’re out and about running errands, taking a lunchtime walk or doing something as simple as hanging out the washing.
All UV damage, the deliberate suntans, incidental tans and accidental sunburns, adds up over time to increase our risk of skin cancer.
You can’t get sunburnt unless it’s sunny
See the myth about shade…. UV radiation can be just as fierce on a day when it’s hot and sunny, as when it’s cool and cloudy. Remember – you can’t see or feel UV rays, so don’t let your senses fool you.
Instead, check the sun protection times each day via the SUNSMART app so you know when UV levels will be high enough to damage your skin.
I used to sunbake when I was younger, so it’s too late for me
It’s never too late for skin cancer prevention! In fact, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers because sun protection is effective at any age! Whether you are 6 months or 60 years old, following the SunSmart steps will cut your cancer risk.
I don’t need sunscreen because there’s SPF in my cosmetics
Cosmetics and moisturises with SPF are great to add to your skin protection arsenal, but as with regular sunscreen, you still need to top up your application every two hours.
Also, be aware most cosmetics offer protection that is much lower than the recommended minimum of SPF30, and may not be broad spectrum to filter both UVA and UVB radiation.
I won’t get skin cancer because I tan and don’t burn
All skin types can be damaged by UV radiation and all skin types can get skin cancer. That’s why we all need to use sun protection.
REMEMBER, if your skin browns in the sun, it’s a sign UV rays have damaged your skin cells. A tan is a sign of skin cells in trauma – not health.
I need to go out in the sun without protection for Vitamin D
Skin can be burnt in as little as 11 minutes in Victoria on a clear summer’s day. So this is not the time of year most of us struggle to make sufficient vitamin D.
A few minutes of UV exposure to your hands and arms in the early morning or late afternoon can be all you need in summer to meet your vitamin D requirements.
Did you enjoy the sunshine over the Christmas break a little too much?
If you have noticed any worrying spots that have appeared over the break, give us a call and organise an appointment with one of our dermatologists to get those spots checked. A referral from your GP is required.
It getting hot out there everyone! Don’t forget to use your sun protection!
Recent statistics show that 68% of people got unexpectedly sunburnt in the last 2 years. 30% while walking, 29% while gardening, 26% while at the beach, 19% watching an outdoor event, 18% while driving. Even if the clouds are about the UV index can still be high and you can still get sunburnt! While sunburn and tans fade, the UV damage remains. SunSmart have launched a new app- seeUV. Be sure to check it out and get daily UV readings before heading out into the sunshine. Don’t forget to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide!
Courtesy of SunSmart Australia and Skin & Cancer Foundation.